163 Tasting Notes

88

My house is empty tonight, with my husband on a 75 mile backpacking trip with one of our sons in the Carolina foothills. I did my own 2 hour urban hike with the Atlanta Outdoor Club today, and having been gone most of the day, I’m feeling that pull to the tea cabinet. I’ve been neglecting my Darjeeling teas lately, and had forgotten about the Upton Premium Darjeeling Sampler I had purchased. The company offers quite a few sampler sets which consist of 4 tins, each holding 35 gms. They also offer all of their teas in individual samples. Upton describes this as one of the finest from the 2011 first flush season, so my expectations are high. Right off the bat, before even tasting it, I enjoy the nice aroma of this golden amber cup. The delicate sweet liquor has an elegance about it with its layers of flavor and accents of tropical fruit. So very different from an Assam or a China Congou, yet amazingly, still a part of the black tea family. There is so much variety among all the different teas, even though they are all from the same plant. This Darjeeling is quite nice and one that I would recommend trying.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Donna A

This is such a good Darjeeling. Next time I order I will get the Upton Premium Darjeeling sampler again, which is how I discovered this one. The sampler is a great way to try the current seasons best and the samples are generous.

Sil

nice! thanks for sharing about the samplers…it’s been a while since i visited upton’s site. I’ll have to look in to it

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97

Its been awhile since I’ve had a pu-erh. I like to take some time with them since you can get so many steepings-16 for this one, according to Teavivre. So today, I have the time, and I’m motivated since my husband used my other sample yesterday, not realizing I was saving it for the right time. I start out in a conventional way using a gaiwan. Following the instructions on the website, I rinse 10 gms twice and start out with quick steepings, as follows: 10s, 10s, 10s, 5s, 5s, 5s, 10s,10s,10s,and 10s. I give my husband some of the later ones and he says, “Now that’s some good tea.” We’re in agreement on that. The first cups taste thick and rich, but all the steepings are nice. After ten 3-oz steepings, I do a final? two minute steeping for my husband with 10 oz of water, which he says still has plenty of flavor-so maybe we’re not done yet after all. The liquor is dark, the color of cola, with a pleasant earthy aroma. Sweet, earthy, and smooth are good overall descriptions, and importantly, there is no fishy taste, bitterness or astringency. So, for pu-erh lovers, or if you haven’t had pu-erh and want to give one a try, get a sample of this one. The pu-erh teas I’ve had from Teavivre do fine with either gongfu or Western style brewing.

Preparation
Boiling
Bonnie

Agree the puerh is good every day drinkable tea without odd flavors.

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Another puerh sample that my husband go into when I wasn’t around. He reports that it was very good. Being a 2012, it would be fun to get some more to age awhile. Fortunately, I have one more sample, so will report later.

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97

My husband made this up and found it to be very tasty but unfortunately, I wasn’t around. Fortunately, I have one more sample, so will review it soon.

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94
drank Da Yu Ling Oolong by Butiki Teas
163 tasting notes

I have extra time today and have decided to make this Gongfu style which is my preferred method for oolongs. To prepare it, I rinse the leaves first. The liquor is light yellow with a greenish cast. The wet leaves smell very vegetal. The 1st infusion tastes very buttery and has light spinach notes. The second infusion has a more floral fragrance and taste, with light vegetal notes in the background. After 5 infusions, I can sum up my impression with the words buttery, light, smooth, and creamy, with a lingering sweetness-it reminds me of what I appreciate in a good Tieguanyin. Each infusion is a little different, but all of these aspects are there to some degree, and the first four infusions are very flavorful, though not aggressive. The 5th infusion is pushing it, but I think next time, I might use a little more leaf, higher temp, and shorter steeping times as an experiment. If you’re an oolong fan, this is worth trying, especially if you like Tieguanyin.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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84

I’m always excited to try anything I get from Stacy at Butiki. I love a good black and Stacy has good teas, but I anticipated this might be rather ordinary since it is a CTC. I was wrong! If you like something bold and unique, you should give it a try! All I had was a sample, and I followed the instructions to only steep for 1 minute. It has a ton of bold flavor, rich and malty, and I didn’t find it to be bitter. My first impression is very favorable, and I want to order some more if she adds it to her website. I may even score it higher when I try it again. I may have under rated it.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

I’ve been trying to put this up all weekend but something keeps coming up. In the next few days it should be up. :) I found it to be surprisingly good for a CTC. I was getting a lot of flavor out of this.

Donna A

I agree, there is a lot of flavor. I got a second steep and maybe could have gotten a third.

Butiki Teas

I generally go for 2 on this one but should try a third. So far I have been picking up banana, oaky, chocolate, and grapefruit notes.

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86

I received this sample with my Butiki order today, and as usual, Stacy doesn’t disappoint with her flavored blends. Sweetened, this makes a delicious dessert tea. The aroma wafting out of the cup is like a juicy orange and the most predominant flavor is orange-it reminds me of the classic Creamsicles from my childhood, but you still know you’re drinking tea. There is a hint of chocolate and the marshmallow is probably in there somewhere, adding to the yumminess, but orange is at the forefront. Some flavored teas leave an unpleasant aftertaste, but not this one. The second steep still packs plenty of flavor too. I give this the thumbs up, especially when sweetened as a dessert tea in the evening.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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98

My Butiki order came today and I went straight for this one because I had sampled it once before and had good memories. It is just fantastic. Leaf hopper teas are all great in my experience. I’m going to try to put a full review in later, but others have described it very well-honey, pastry, waffles. I am already thinking I will have to order it again before Stacy runs out!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Yum! I just ordered more!

Terri HarpLady

yeah, I’m due for a butiki order…

Bonnie

Don’t miss this one Little Terri will be mad!

Sil

I second that! Better get some Terri!

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I’ve reviewed this previously and am having it again tonight. So delicious. Every time I have it, I like it better and better!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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96

I have not had a single flavored matcha from Red Leaf that I haven’t enjoyed, so I have high expectations with Bavarian Cream, my latest acquisition. I ordered the Classic matcha with robust flavor. One of my favorite ways to start the day is with a chilled matcha latte. I know I need to branch out more, but I just like it this way so much! So today, I’m readying myself for a brisk 2 1/2 hour hike on a windy 40 degree day. I think this will give me a good jumpstart. My favorite flavor thus far has been Caramel, but there are others that run a close second, and all are good. My choice of milk for lattes varies. I’ve used unsweetened soy and almond/coconut depending on what I have in the fridge. I sweeten with some stevia because it makes me feel like I’m having dessert. So I put a few ounces hot water in a large tumbler, then sift 1 teaspoon of matcha into the water. I froth with my trusty Aerolatte for just a few seconds, then add about 12 ounces of milk , and froth another few seconds. A couple of ice cubes and I’m good to go. Yum. This Bavarian Cream flavor is a cup of creamy vanilla deliciousness! If you like the sound of it you can get it at:
http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/bavarian-cream-matcha.html

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Profile

Bio

Tea became a passion for me a year or so ago. I fell into it almost by accident, but now I would say it has captured me. Tea is more than something tasty to sip on, it is an experience-it helps create a mood and is quite interesting to read about and study. I discovered loose tea at the tea store at my mall. I was looking for alternatives to Coke Zero and white wine. Say what you will about that mall chain, but I’m sure it has raised awareness about tea where I live, in the land of bagged mass produced black tea prepared with lots of sugar, Atlanta, Georgia. That’s what happened with me, and then I started perusing the internet and found Steepster.

When I take on an interest or a hobby, I go into it full force and become a little obsessive about it in the beginning. I have always been adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, and once I discovered there was so much more out there than the Lipton tea I saw my mom drinking when I was growing up, I started trying many different varieties of loose tea. I have discovered I like all kinds of tea. I I veer a lot toward straight teas, especially blacks, but occasionally drink flavored also, especially Earl Grey. I like flavored Matcha lattes too. I’ve completely given up diet cola, which was becoming too much of a habit. I think tea is a lot healthier. When I rate a tea, it’s just my personal taste, so I don’t tend to post on things I don’t care for. Also, I tend to sweeten my tea with natural stevia (a no no for some!) I am a married Registered Nurse, with two kids in college and one in medical school. My husband is not hooked like I am, but he often enjoys a cup with me. I enjoy many other interests, including reading, gardening, and the arts. I’ve taken up hiking in the past year too. Anytime I can include tea in these pursuits, I do! It has become a bit of an obsession for me.

Location

Atlanta, GA

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